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Happy and Broken

Broken and Happy

by Max Barashenkov, images by Kevin Goss-Ross / 10.08.2010

Written on the painful crawl back.

I’m face-planting myself into the crash barrier, jumping and generally engaging with my inner animal. In front of me: Mike and Disco, the cracked-up Kiwi bird and the mystical penguin, spit their rhymes through easily the best set of the entire festival. PHfat destroy, there is simply no other word for it, utter death by bass. It’s great to see a band who don’t take themselves seriously – Mike’s monkey impersonation is the stuff of comic legends. This is not to say that they don’t take what they do seriously, one look at Narch’s professional solidity is enough. Their sign off – ‘Oh and in case you were wondering – we’re white, we’re very very white’ – elicits a general approving throat frenzy from the fiends. Later Mike tells me that drugs are bad for your superpowers. Good man…

Imagine Jimi Hendrix on lead, Chuck Berry on rhythm, Bob Marley somehow on drums, all run through a South African filter…(and as I think this, the projected embedded racism becomes self-aware. Fuck you SA, the land where political correctness and hyper-race-sensitivity is so firmly and deeply screwed up people’s asses that your words will without fail kick up a racial shit storm)…The BLK JKS bleed suave and collected cool – Jimi flails, moves and dances like I wish I could, it’s open-consciousness sex made into musical performance…

JR shows off his cold sore

There is a dust-covered Prius glooming under a tree, someone’s caring hand has written ‘I hate trees’ and ‘Big Oil’ and ‘This is gay’ on it in dirt. And that strange word – TRONS – with a backwards ‘N’ and horns on the ‘O’…why?…

Tumi kicks out the jams, the crowd roars back to the southern sing-along – “this shit sounds like rock ‘n roll” – New Holland, playing the FHM stage at the same slot, don’t. It’s sad to see Tumi, masterfully backed by members of Isochronous and Yesterday’s Pupil on the drums, deliver an entrancing South African interpretation of Rage Against The Machine to a much smaller crowd than those Bellville cock-fags. Somebody please buy them some shirts, cut their hair, find them a new sound over the hoovering-up-a-Joy-Division-record thing they got going and let them know that their first track was fucked up out of time.

I didn’t think a thing such as indie-hardcore could exist, but Philadelphia Grand Jury are all bratty, punchy and catchy at the same time. Backed by a ferocious live punk show, this is magnificent – the only singer I saw venture right into the crowd, past the barriers, into the dance-madness, to deliver a great cover of Jay-Z’s 99 Problems. The people receive them with a hell of a lot more warmth than at their first set, on Friday – perhaps there is hope for South African audiences, I’m just glad it wasn’t Fokof playing…

Maybe that whiny excuse for a voice is exotic to most, but to me, Billy Talent is a cheese-grater to the ear. Red Flag? Really? Is that song about being gay and on your period? “We don’t need you, we don’t need you” – they wail, and fuck, we really don’t. Go back to Canadia and peddle your 2nd rate angry pop crap in some other third world country that will lap it up like it’s Zeppelin. “Thank you AFRICA!” shouts the lead singer – you backward Canadian bastard – the whole continent isn’t cheering you on, only the dumb one percent of its population. Another gem: “I fucking hate snow, you don’t get much of it here do you?”
What a way to connect with the crowd, you dipshit, tune the audience about something most of them have never seen.

I’m on the pavement outside the KFC in Northam, broken and rough and content like I haven’t been in years. A random Oppi casualty walks over, grins and gives me a carton of chips with the words “you look hungry”. The psychosis of the weekend begins to ebb, but the sense of having been a part of something great remains…

All images © Kevin Goss-Ross.

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RESPONSES (38)
  1. huh says:

    what is a “cock-fag”?

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  2. States The Obvious says:

    a “cock-fag” is a term used to describe something that you don’t like when you are coming down off a ton of acid and booze.

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  3. Andy says:

    maybe he meant cock-rock fags… I dunno but it’s definitely not a term of endearment

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  4. huh says:

    enlightening…. thanks.

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  5. Brett says:

    You made me puke down the hill dude.

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  6. Walter says:

    This is terrible. Great photos.

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  7. Sally says:

    @Kevin Goss-Ross. I think you should find a better writer to accompany your great photographic skills. The only reason I been following this Oppikoppi story is to see your photos, which may I add, say way more than the crap being written.

    @ Mahala – Please don’t send this writer to review any other festivals / gigs.

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  8. Roger Young says:

    Max hate is so last week. You commentors need to up your game.

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  9. yes, and? says:

    wonder if max was even at the festival. saw kevin there but max was mysteriously elusive… oh and i hear there may be a creepy steve/sweatface collaboration reviewing the same festival. makes me wonder what kind of light it will throw this reporter into, he he!

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Jesus. All I can say is..What a fucking cock.

    Feeling lonely without your hate mail Roger? This prat makes you look relatively good. Me thinks that is the only reason he has been given the space?

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  11. Anonymous says:

    …(and as I think this, the projected embedded racism becomes self-aware. Fuck you SA, the land where political correctness and hyper-race-sensitivity is so firmly and deeply screwed up people’s asses that your words will without fail kick up a racial shit storm)…

    Ah, how predictable. The rapier-tongued Max plays the ‘overly sensitive, politically correct, wishy-washy liberal’ card: if you object to blatant racism (of the sort evident in his recent article), you must be uptight and hyper sensitive.

    That’s straight out of the playbook of a BNP-voting British cabbie.

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  12. Wit Afrikaner boer seun who loves to hate God says:

    Rad write up! To hell with all the nay sayers about your nay saying. Commentary like yours is needed to keep pushing creativity

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  13. Pachanga says:

    YOUR THOSE OF U THAT GOT MOUTH RAPED BY ME, MAKE SURE U GO TO THE DOCTOR. THAT THING ON MY LIP IS NOT A JOKE.

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  14. deafby40 says:

    liam lynch and rudi cronje went up to koppi in a campervan with a camera and a lap top, where can we read their take on the festival?

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Will you be posting an indepth review of the Billy Talent gig in CPT or DBN?

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  16. Melanie says:

    Kevin, marry me

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  17. Grizzled Rock-Biter says:

    “It’s sad to see Tumi, masterfully backed by members of Isochronous and Yesterday’s Pupil on the drums, deliver an entrancing South African interpretation of Rage Against The Machine to a much smaller crowd than those Bellville cock-fags”

    Amen.

    You stole my “indie hardcore” term by the way, you dirty Russian cock-fag. Plus you forgot to mention the Terminatryx set. Other than that, I thought your three parter was pretty spot on. The masses can have their main and FHM stages, just keep the Levi’s stage going like it has been the past two years and I’ll keep on braving Oppikoppi Throat into the far future.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    @deafby40 point the way, anything that showcases the combined talents of Rudi Cronje and Liam Lynch would be interesting…

    Nice photos Kevin

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  19. snapper says:

    @deafby40
    speakerbox

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  20. samantha says:

    Jr was the best dance partner I ever had. find him for me please…

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  21. Roger Young says:

    JR is – Jean Rene Onyangunga – find him on the old FB

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  22. Grizzled Rock-Biter says:

    He also stops big Red Bull jeeps driven by arrogant rich kids Gandalf style:

    http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs123.ash2/39491_415841321789_579881789_5271934_4424126_n.jpg

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  23. mike from phfat says:

    That’s not a monkey impersonation…

    That’s just how I dance…

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  24. Brett says:

    phfat own any stage i’ve ever seen them on.
    yessss.
    south africa is the my home
    and i like it a lot

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  25. Greg says:

    rad write up max boy! glad i’m not the only one that thinks that billy talent are shit.

    Hahaha Mikey you crack me up!

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  26. Max says:

    thank god people saw it – Kevin’s photos are much much better than my writing. Good man.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    HATE MAX

    HATE MAX

    HATE MAX

    … that’s what we’re all doing now, right?

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  28. Lies says:

    “Forced conversation, hidden agenda, you think we’re stupid how dare you!
    The rug has not been pulled over our eyes you fool, we can see right through!

    Tip toeing villain, eyes in the ceiling, your false intentions have worn thin…
    But we’ve been in your room and in your closet too, we’ve got one on you!

    Lies…make it better
    Lies…are forever
    Lies…to go home to
    Lies…to wake up to
    Lies…from the alter
    Lies…make you falter
    Lies…keep your mouth fed
    Lies…till your death bed…lies

    Inside an office, a fallen angel, a smiling Buddha with snake eyes,
    Creates the latest trends, and I just can’t pretend, don’t call me your friend!

    Lies…make it better
    Lies…are forever
    Lies…to go home to
    Lies…to wake up to
    Lies…from the alter
    Lies…make ya falter
    Lies…keep your mouth fed
    Lies…till your death bed…lies

    Lies will come back to hunt you…bullet proof your limousine
    Lies will come back to hunt you…hit and run a broken dream!

    Lies…make it better
    Lies…are forever
    Lies…to go home to
    Lies…to wake up to
    Lies…from the alter
    Lies…make ya falter
    Lies…keep your mouth fed
    Lies…till your death bed…lies”

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  29. Debi (Koppi Virgin) says:

    Philadelphia Grandy Jury need to come to Cape Town soon.

    First write-up I’ve agreed with thus far.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Hahaha this is the lamest fucking write up ive ever read.
    Please find something worth while to do with your worthless time…maybe go roadie for Billy Talent! You might learn something…

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  31. campbell, cato and lyle says:

    cah up done.
    lock up done.
    come back max we miss you.

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  32. campbell, cato and lyle says:

    No we dont:)
    good article though!

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  33. Anonymous says:

    Haha!

    You’re posts from koppi have made my day!
    Well doneth!

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  34. Stringy Steve says:

    He described PHfat as “destroy” , this article was ruined by over used Generation Next cliches.

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  35. Anonymous says:

    Our industry needs journalists or whatever he thinks he is like this. least he says it how it is. The truth is truth regardless of whether we believe it or not, can prove it, accept or support it. Think he is telling the truth and being honest at the same time, a rare trait in a age of where we try to be different rather than just be different. watch almost famous and start appreciating what he is doing

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  36. Anonymous says:

    is mahala the only place where max writes, or can i find his articles elsewhere?

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  37. […] And thank you for helping me cream my pants at oppikoppi, you mystical penguin you. I think Max’s first paragraph here is the best one he’s ever […]

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